One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. By this time sponsor interest in the already long dead Fields was at its lowest ebb, and telecasts were few and far between. Its earliest documented airings took place in Seattle Thursday 26 February 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7) and in Minneapolis Saturday 22 August 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11). It was released on DVD 20 March 2007 as one of 5 titles in the W.C. Fields Comedy Collection Volume 2, and again 4 June 2013 as one of 10 titles in Universal's W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection and has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.
At the end of the opening cast credits, there is "Also Cast of the original "Drunkard" Company." However, since the earliest production of "The Drunkard" premiered in New York City in 1843, the production referred to was undoubtedly the one in Los Angeles which premiered on July 6, 1933, at the Little Theatre Mart and ran for several years. The cast list for the production is not available.
When McGonigle first sees Cleopatra, he says "Who's the old squigelum over there?" "Squigelum" is a Fields nonsense word. He would use it again in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) to describe the kissing game he teaches Ouliotta Hemogloben.